- Government proposals in relation to the Electronic Communications Code
Government proposals in relation to the Electronic Communications Code
Government proposals in relation to the Electronic Communications Code20th December 2021 - Published by Kuits Property Litigation team
The Government is updating and modifying the Electronic Communications Code – ‘the ECC’. It’s response to the consultation on changes to the ECC, “Access to land: consultation on changes to the Electronic Communications Code”, has been published. The proposals being discussed aim to make it quicker for broadband and 4G or 5G mobile operators to deploy their networks. The Government says that the changes will support the installation, maintenance and upgrading/sharing of apparatus, alongside facilitating faster and more collaborative negotiations between operators and site providers, while balancing the public interest in having improved digital connectivity with private property rights.
The proposals are, but are not limited to:
- Expanding the range of code rights to include the sharing of apparatus and rights in connection with sharing
- Expanding the ability of operators to share sites both under new code agreements and in respect of apparatus installed in the past
- To deal with the Compton Beauchamp issue highlighted in the case of Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Ltd (CTIL) v Compton Beauchamp Estates Ltd  EWCA Civ 1755 and in the subsequent case of CTIL v Ashloch Ltd & AP Wireless II (UK) Ltd  EWCA Civ 90, the meaning of occupier under the Code is to be expanded to include:
- the person who for the time being exercises powers of management or control over the land, in cases where an operator seeking a code agreement already enjoys exclusive occupation of the site; or
- if there is no such person, the person whose interest in the land would be prejudicially affected by the exercise of a code right in relation to the land.
- Align assessment of rents for 1954 Act lease renewals of code agreements with the assessment of rents under the new code
- Introducing provisions to deal with cases where the occupier of land, or other person with an interest in the relevant land, does not respond to repeated notices given by the operator seeking agreement to confer or otherwise be bound by code rights.
The Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill was introduced to Parliament on 24 November 2021.